Game of Thrones season premiere recap: Family Feuds

The fantasy hit returns for season 3 with a fishing dragon, a snow giant and some wildly dysfunctional feudal family feuds
Ep. 01 | Aired Mar 31, 2013

FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) and Bronn (Jerome Flynn) walk and banter in the season premiere.


As Snow goes through the camp, Wildlings throw rocks at him since he's dressed like a "Crow" (Night's Watchman). Ygritte warns that even if Wildling leader Mance Rayder sets him free, he's still in danger because "then I'd be free to kill yah." But we don't believe her threat, she's throwing way too many IOIs his way.

In Mance's tent, Jon assumes a Wildling named Giantsbane is Mance. C'mon Jon, like any army would follow a ginger-head! The real Mance is played by Cirian Hinds (yes, Caesar from Rome). Notice how Thrones is leaning on European history here. Most of the ruling class in King's Landing use British accents (even Joffrey, who is played by an Irish actor), while the Wildling rebels who love their freeeeedom! seem to have more Scottish-sounding accents.

"The girl likes yah, you like her back?" asks Mance and then asks why Jon wants to defect to join the Wildings.

First Jon gives the answer he thinks Mance wants to hear ("I want to be free"). Mance looks at him with curiosity, amusement and some kindness, which has to be messing with Jon's head a little amid all the death threats. "I think what you want most of all is to be a hero," Mance counters, which is probably right.

Then Jon gives an answer that's closer to the truth, showing his disgust at the Lord Commander's pact with the molest-y, baby-sacrificing Craster and his desire to fight the White Walkers. That answer gets him accepted -- for now.

King's Landing: Show of hands: Who wanted Game of Thrones season 3 to open with a Bronn sex scene? Well, you're in luck sort of!

First we get a quick establishing shot of peasant kids happily frolicking in Blackwater Bay. That has to be unsanitary given all the dead bodies that went into the sea during last season's climatic battle. Must be awkward when somebody's dad washes up on the shore while playing Marco Polo.

Now we're inside the brothel. Tyrion's sellsword Bronn is chatting with a prostitute and we're looking at her boobs and not really listening. She's wearing this odd little cooter curtain and orders him to pull it aside with his mouth. He's just about to comply, when suddenly a messenger sent by Tyrion interrupts their game of Expose the Wizard.

In his chambers, Tyrion is examining his scar from last season's battle. You can tell he's thinking: Like I needed something else for people to give me s--t about. Cersei is at his door. "It's your sister," she says, then adds unnecessarily, "the queen." Oh, she's a proud one. Technically Cersie is the Queen Regent until her brat-son Joffrey weds, but she doesn't like to call herself that.

Cersei reassures paranoid Tyrion: "If I wanted to kill you, do you think I'd let a wooden door stop me?" More accurately: If she wanted to kill her brother, she would not be there. Cersei likes to have underlings do her handiwork. And that's what Tyrion suspects happened last season -- that Cersei ordered one Tryion's own men to kill him during the battle.

"They said you'd lost your nose, but it's not as gruesome as all that," she says (a shout-out to the book version where Tyrion's nose was lopped off).

They fondly reminiscence about the time when a young Cersei ordered her guards to beat a 9-year-old girl (see?) and she tells him, "You're a clever man. But you're not half as clever as you think you are." To which Tyrion zings back: "It still makes me more clever than you." Their banter sounds smart. But when you think about it, these two are practically regressing. They're like two young siblings going, "I'm not stupider! You're stupider!"

NEXT: The pirate bay

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